Eur. J. Entomol. 104 (1): 73-79, 2007 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2007.012

Population, ecology and morphology of Saga pedo (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) at the northern limit of its distribution

Institute of Forest Ecology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Štúrova 2, 960 53 Zvolen, Slovakia; e-mail:

The bush-cricket Saga pedo, one of the largest predatory insects, has a scattered distribution across 20 countries in Europe. At the northern boundary of its distribution, this species is most commonly found in Slovakia and Hungary. In Slovakia in 2003-2006, 36 known and potentially favourable localities were visited and at seven this species was recorded for the first time. This species has been found in Slovakia in xerothermic forest steppes and limestone grikes (98% of localities) and on slopes (10-45°) with south-westerly or westerly aspects (90%) at altitudes of 220-585 m a.s.l. (mean 433 m, n = 20 localities). Most individuals (66%) were found in grass-herb layers 10-30 cm high and almost 87% within 10 m of a forest edge (oak, beech and hornbeam being prevalent). The maximum density was 12 nymphs (3rd-5th instar) / 1000 m2 (July 4, 510 m a.s.l.). In a comparison of five present and previous S. pedo localities, 43 species of Orthoptera were found in the present and 37 in previous localities. The mean numbers and relative abundance of species in present S. pedo localities were also significantly higher. S. pedo individuals at the northern boundary of their distribution were expected to be smaller and lighter because of suboptimal ecological conditions there. However, the body size of S. pedo individuals from these areas were similar to the average value for the whole area. Based on analyses of present and former localities and the Orthopteran assemblages around S. pedo, the factors endangering this species, and methods for conserving it and its habitat are discussed.

Keywords: Tettigoniidae, survival strategies, endangered species, large insect predators, ecological limits

Received: April 6, 2006; Accepted: September 1, 2006; Revised: September 1, 2006; Published: January 3, 2007Show citation

ACS AIP APA ASA Harvard Chicago IEEE ISO690 MLA NLM Turabian Vancouver
KRIŠTÍN, A., & KAŇUCH, P. (2007). Population, ecology and morphology of Saga pedo (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) at the northern limit of its distribution. Eur. J. Entomol.104(1), 73-79. doi: 10.14411/eje.2007.012.
Download citation


  1. BERG H.-M. & ZUNA-KRATKY T. 1997: Heuschrecken und Fangschrecken. Eine Rote Liste der in der NiederGsterreich gefaehrdeten Arten. NO Landesregierung, Wien, 112 pp
  2. BLACKBURN T.M., GASTON K.J. & LODER N. 1999: Geographic gradients in body size: a clarification of Bergmann's rule. Divers. Distrib. 5: 165-174 Go to original source...
  3. CANTRALL I. J. 1972: Saga pedo (Pallas) (Tettigoniidae: Saginae) an old world katydid new to Michigan. Gt. Lakes Entomol. 5: 103-106
  4. FONTANA P. & CUSSIGH F. 1996: Saga pedo (Pallas) ed Empusa fasciata Brulle in Italia, specie rare da proteggere. Atti Acc. Rov. Agiati 246(6): 47-64
  5. GALVAGNI A. & PROSSER F. 2004: Saga pedo (Pallas, 1771) - found in Trentino, North Italy. Atti. Acc. Rov. Agiati 254(4): 97-106
  6. GREATHEAD D.J. 1963: A review of the insect enemies of Acridoidea (Orthoptera). Trans. R. Entomol. Soc. London 114: 437-517 Go to original source...
  7. GULICKA J. 1954: Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Verbreitung einiger Orthopteren und Dermapteren in der Slowakei. Biologia (Bratislava) 9: 617-630 [in Slovak, German abstr.]
  8. HARZ K. 1969: Die Orthopteren Europas. Vol. I. Dr. W. Junk, The Hague, 749 pp
  9. INGRISCH S. & KOHLER G. 1998: Die Heuschrecken Mitteleuropas. Die Neue Brehm Buecherei 629. Westarp Wissenschaften, Magdeburg, 460 pp
  10. HELLER K.-G. 2004: Fauna Europaea: Ensifera, Caelifera. Fauna Europaea version 1.1,
  11. HELLER K.-G., KORSUNOVSKAYA O., RAGGE D.R., VEDENINA V., WILLEMSE F., ZHANTIEV R.D., & FRANTSEVICH L. 1998: Checklist of European Orthoptera. Articulata 7: 1-61
  12. JAUS I. 1934: Ein Beitrag zur Biologie von Saga serrata F. Konowia (Wien) 13: 171-177
  13. KALTENBACH A. 1967: Unterlagen fuer eine Monographie der Saginae 1. Superrevision der Gattung Saga Charpentier (Saltatoria: Tettigoniidae). Beitr. Entomol. (Berlin) 17: 3-107
  14. KALTENBACH A. 1970: Unterlagen fuer eine Monographie der Saginae II. Beitraege zur AutGkologie der Gattung Saga Charpentier (Saltatoria: Tettigoniidae). Zool. Beitr. 16: 155-245
  15. KALTENBACH A.P. 1990: The predatory Saginae. In Bailey W.J. & Rentz D.C.F. (eds): The Tettigoniidae. Biology, Systematics and Evolution. Springer, Berlin, pp. 280-302
  16. KENYERES Z., BAUER N. & RACZ I. 2002: Saga pedo Pallas dans le bassin des Carpates, synthese et nouvelles donnees (Orthoptera, Tettigoniidae). Bull. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 107: 149-156
  17. KOCAREK P., HOLUSA J. & VIDLICKA L. 2005: Blattaria, Mantodea, Orthoptera & Dermaptera of the Czech and Slovak Republics. Kabourek, Zlin, 348 pp
  18. KRISTIN A. 2001: Red list of Orthoptera of Slovakia. Ochrana Prirody (Suppl.) 20: 103-104 [in Slovak, English abstr.]
  19. KRISTIN A. & KANUCH P. 2006: Grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera) and mantids (Mantodea) of the Zoborske vrchy Mts. area (W Slovakia). Rosalia 18: 99-108 [in Slovak, English abstr.]
  20. KRISTIN A., KANUCH P. & PUCHALA P. 2005: Orthopteroid insects (Orthoptera s. l.) of the Male Karpaty Mts. (W Slovakia). Ochrana Prirody 24: 56-66 [in Slovak, English abstr.]
  21. LODER N. 1997: Insect Species Body Size Distributions. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Sheffield
  22. NAGY B. 1960: Vertikale Grenzen des Vorkommens der Saegeschrecke (Saga pedo Pall.) in Ungarn. Fol. Entomol. Hungar. (N.S.) 13: 251-252 [in Hungarian, German abstr.]
  23. NAGY B., KIS B. & NAGY L. 1984: Saga pedo Pall. (Orthoptera, Tettigoniidae): Verbreitung und Gkologische Regelmaessigkeiten des Vorkommens in SO-Mitteleuropa. Verh. SIEEC X, Budapest 1983: 190-192
  24. NAGY B., SUSLIK V. & KRISTIN A. 1998: Distribution of Orthoptera species and structure of assemblages along Slanske - Zemplen Mountains Range (SE Slovakia - NE Hungary). Folia Entomol. Hung. 59: 17-27
  25. OLAH M. 1987: A new occurrence of the Saw-legged grasshopper, Saga pedo (Pall.) in the Matra Mts. Fol. Hist. Nat. Mus. Matr. 12: 43-45
  26. SANGER K. 1980: Zur Larvalentwicklung der LaubheuschreckenArt Saga natoliae (Orthoptera: Tettigonioidea). Entomol. Gener. 6: 65-69
  27. SANGER K. & HELFERT B. 1994: Vergleich von Anzahl und Lage der Mikropylen und der Form der Eier von Saga pedo, S. natoliae und S. ephippigera (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). Entomol. Gener. 19: 49-56 Go to original source...
  28. SCHALL A. 2002: Details on the knowledge of Saga pedo (Pallas, 1771), biological cycle in captivity (Orthoptera, Tettigoniidae, Saginae). Bull. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 107: 157-164
  29. THORENS P. & NADIG A. 1997: Atlas de Distribution des Orthopteres de Suisse. Documenta Faunistica Helvetiae 16, CSCF, Neuchatel, 236 pp
  30. VIDLICKA L., JANSKY V., FEDOR P.J., KRUMPAL M. & LUKAS J. 2002: Distribution of Saga pedo in Slovakia. Articulata 17: 95-100
  31. VRABEC V. & KOCAREK P. 2005: The observation of Saga hellenica Kaltenbach, 1967 (Orthoptera) on Korfu Island. Entomofauna Carpath. 17: 11-13
  32. WERNER F. 1905: Die Verbreitung und Lebensweise der Riesenheuschrecken aus der Gattung Saga, insbesondere in Europa. Mitt. Nat. Ver. Univ. Wien 3(1): 1-4
  33. WILLEMSE L. 1996: Saga pedo. In Helsdingen P.J. van, Willemse L. & Speight M.C.D. (eds): Background Information on Invertebrates of the Habitats Directive and the Bern Convention. Part 2. - Mantodea, Odonata, Orthoptera and Arachnida. Nature and Environment Series 80. Council of Europe Publ., Strasbourg, pp. 383-393

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original publication is properly cited. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.